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Demand for two stroke three wheelers high despite 2008 ban

TRI-SHAWS: Local three-wheeler manufacturers and distributors say two stroke three wheeler sales have not gone down despite the Government deciding to ban two stroke three wheelers from 2008.

David Pieris Motor Company Limited (DPMC) the franchised distributor in Sri Lanka for Bajaj three-wheelers said the demand for two stroke three wheelers has not declined despite the Government’s decision to ban import of two stroke three wheelers. A couple of years back the DPMC introduced four stroke three wheelers to Sri Lanka.

A company spokesman told Daily News that their four stroke market is also growing.

The company also said there is a technical possibility of converting two stroke engines to a four stroke engine.

Chairman/ Chief Executive Director of Alba Group of Companies M.Y.M. Nassar told Daily News there is no decline in demand for the two stroke three wheelers at the moment.

“It is a good move that the government has taken since the world is moving towards four stroke engines,” Nassar said.

They are also keen on converting to four stroke three wheelers. “But the Government needs to provide financial assistance for us.”

“Converting to four stroke is a huge investment and we need a huge backup from the Government,” Nassar said.

Specialised mechanics are needed for repairing four stroke three wheelers and there is a dearth of mechanics who are specialised in this sector.

The Government also needs to focus on training these mechanics too, he said.

Government also needs to consider the three-wheeler drivers who have made it their main source of income, he said.

Meanwhile Minister of Environment Patali Champika Ranawaka told Parliament recently as a relief measure the Ministry will consider the possibility of granting concessionary credit facilities for two stroke three wheeler owners to convert their three wheelers into four stroke.

According to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) last month 4,294 petrol three wheelers and 41 diesel three wheelers were registered at the RMV. Most of them are two stroke.

Normally there are over 4,000 three-wheeler registrations per month at the RMV and there was no significant decline in three-wheeler registrations after the Government’s decision, an official of the RMV said.

There are 318,000 three-wheelers in Sri Lanka and most of them are two stroke. The Government decided to ban the import of two stroke three-wheelers with effect from 2008 to minimise air pollution. Four stroke three-wheelers are recommended by the Government instead.

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